City of Angels

My name is Frank Hong and I am an artist from Toronto, Canada.
Work “City of Angels” I created in 2009. This idea arose by chance, I did not even have a clear idea of ​​what I want to get in the end. Since there was no definite direction of work, I had complete freedom to choose images for the future picture.

Creating a character or an object that determines the mood of the picture, and giving the work an appropriate atmosphere, I believe, are the most important stages. They add personality to your work.

I decided to create a futuristic cityscape covered in morning fog and immersed in an atmosphere of cold and emptiness.
For this, I chose not quite the perfect photo of the city. By the way, despite the fact that we will create the landscape of the future, it will look much better for processing photos of the city with its old tall buildings and dirty streets. On the right side of the image there will be more modern buildings, and in the middle we will place a sculpture of a futuristic angel. Thus, we will create a contrast between the new and the old.

I do not advise newcomers to take this lesson, as it is designed for those who are quite good at using Photoshop.

Let’s get started!
Open a photo of the city in Photoshop and drag it to a new document (choose the size according to your ideas). Duplicate (CTRL + J) the photo twice, arrange the copies one after another, trying to make the junction as less visible as possible. Thus, we filled the left side of the canvas.

When I create a new job, I first select the images that I will use. At this stage, I already had an idea for filling out the right side. I chose a wonderful photo of a modern city with a lot of reflections on the roofs of houses.

I duplicated the silhouettes of houses located in the background, since the light-and-white differences between the two photographs are noticeable. This will make them less noticeable.

Next, I needed to determine the mood of the work. The green color was too rough and harsh, so I decided to get rid of it. Via Color balance (Color balance) I increased the red level and got:
Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Color Balance (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Color Balance)

The next step was the sky. I chose a sky so that according to the lighting it corresponded to the mood of the whole work.

I created layer mask (the Add layer mask button is located at the bottom of the layers panel) for the layer with the sky and removed the lower area. Using a layer mask helps a lot if you delete too much and need to restore some fragment, or vice versa, delete it. Remove should brush black, and restore – white. Make sure that the layer mask is active, otherwise it will not work (just click on its thumbnail on the layers panel). In the image below, you see my layer mask, the white part is what we left, and the black part is what we removed (in fact, we do not delete anything, we just mask it; this is the advantage of using such cases of layer masks).

I worked a little more with the mask, removing those areas where the sky covered the buildings. I also added lights on the buildings on the left. Now the differences between the cities are not very noticeable, two different photos look like one.

Next, I created a new layer and using Polygonal Lasso Tool (Rectangular Lasso) (L), created the shape for the future of the futuristic angel. Selection i filled gradient . I used this technique to create the base of the central structure.

I drew some parts using standard brushes. Thanks to such trifles, the work became more interesting and, as I wrote at the beginning, added personality and character, as well as a little silhouette stood out. To emphasize this even more, I will add mist below, which, moreover, will make the area near the giant stone angel softer and reduce the color contrast of the work.

The next step was the creation of the “wing” of the angel. For starters, I drew a “pen” using ordinary Brush tool (Brush) (B).

Then I duplicated (CTRL + J) the layer with the “pen” and, using Free transform (Free Transform) (CTRL + T), changed the slope of the duplicate.

Having done the above steps several times, I got the following:

Next, selecting all the layers with “feathers” (holding down the CTRL key, click on the layers), I applied to them Free transform (Free Transform) (CTRL + T).

Then I merged all the layers with the “feathers” into one, so that the whole “wing” could be edited at once. Then he added fog to the lower part of the wing so that it would not look, as it were, detached from the overall picture.

I continue to detail the work. Using soft standard brush and blending modes Overlay (Overlap), I corrected the color and brightness. You need to draw on a new layer, then change it blending mode (overlay mode) on Overlay (Overlap) (at the top of the layers panel). Due to this, the colors began to look more harmonious.

Then I decided to add a bridge, improve the buildings and put some reflections on them. Also placed a few more silhouettes in the background. Before finishing the detailing, I tried to recall the buildings that I saw in reality, the pictures in which they are depicted so as not to miss important details.

I painted birds flying in the sky. This added a modicum of life to this gloomy city.
Approaching the last stage, I decided to finish painting the luminous eyes of the angel in order to focus attention on it. I also painted reflections from the eyes on the roofs of buildings and, using Dodge tool (Brightener) (O), highlighted the eyes, making them brighter.

It remains only to add a few small strokes, to correct the light-and-white aspects and ready!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and were inspired to create your own work.

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